Monday, June 18, 2018 Medina 87°


Rematch is readied for Statehouse seat: Hambley vs. Sawicki in GOP primary

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The Medina man who ran against Ohio Rep. Steve Hambley last year for the 69th District House seat will try again in 2016.

Chris Sawicki, 35, opposed Hambley, R-Brunswick, in the May 2014 primary, but lost with 39 percent compared with Hambley’s 61 percent.

The 2016 primary will be held Tuesday, March 15.

“Me and people like me are the people we need representing us,” Sawicki, a self-employed contractor, said Thursday. “The common man, not the attorneys and the career politicians.”

After losing in the primary, Sawicki became a candidate for the 5th District seat on the state Board of Education in October. There were four candidates for one seat and he finished only 284 votes, or less than 1 percent, behind the victorious Roslyn Painter-Goffi.

Sawicki also was one of six candidates to replace Hambley as Medina County commissioner, but the members of the Medina County Republican Party’s Central Committee elected Commissioner Tim Smith in January.

Sawicki said he decided to run again because he didn’t want Hambley to be unopposed.

“People shouldn’t be able to just walk into office unchallenged,” he said.

If elected, Sawicki said he would want to focus his attention on bringing more financial control to local government. He said much of the state’s budget is federal money that comes with mandates.

“We’re selling off local control,” he said. “The people don’t have as much say when we’re taking this much federal money.”

Hambley, who’s 12 months into his first term as representative, said he’ll be running on that same issue — to “lower the cost of local government and to continue to stimulate economic growth by lowering taxes.”

“My goal will be to create a good environment for businesses and growth and give local governments more flexibility and fewer mandates,” he said.

Before becoming a state representative, Hambley served as one of Medina County’s three commissioners for 17 years and he also served on Brunswick City Council for two.

When he learned he’d be running against Sawicki again next year, he called his opponent a “nice guy.”

“He’s willing to talk about issues and legislation,” Hambley said. “I just hope the people will compare my background in public service with what he has to offer.”

The 69th House District includes the eastern portion of Medina County, the cities of Medina and Wadsworth, and one of the city of Brunswick’s four wards; the villages of Lodi, Chippewa Lake, Gloria Glens Park, Seville and Westfield Center; and Granger, Guilford, Harrisville, Hinckley, Lafayette, Medina, Montville and Sharon townships and portions of Brunswick Hills and York townships.

Sawicki’s filing needs to be certified by the Medina County Board of Elections on Tuesday.

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